Congressional Republicans rebuked President Obama's Health and Human Services Department (HHS) today for taking advantage of a technicality that allows Obama to delay revealing the cost of the Obamacare individual mandate on businesses and states.
"By issuing a [health benefits] 'bulletin' rather than a proposed rule, the Administration has sidestepped the requirement to publish a cost benefit analysis estmating the impact these mandates will have on health insurance premiums and the increased cost to the federal government," three House committee chairman and two Republican Senate leaders wrote to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today.
HHS released a bulletin December 16, 2011 explaining what "essential health benefits" insurance policies must provide to all Americans under the individual mandate, the legislators explained. "Publishing a 'bulletin' rather than a proposed rule is the antithesis of an 'open and transparent' prcess."
The lawmakers also explained that, because the bulletin doesn't have any legal force, it hardly "allow[s] states to plan" for Obamacare regulations scheduled to take effect in 2014.
You can read the letter here, signed by: Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo.; Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.; Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.; and Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.